The Best American Spiritual Writing 2004

Front Cover
Philip Zaleski
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Oct 14, 2004 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 304 pages
It is said that we live in a secular age, yet religion and spirituality, belief and practice, are ever more powerful forces in contemporary culture, shaping both personal lives and world events. The newest addition to the acclaimed Best American series reflects this trend, bringing us the year's finest writing about faith and spirituality from a rich array of traditions sure to enrich the lives of all readers.
Included is the work of some of our finest poets -- Mark Doty, W. S. Merwin, Philip Levine -- and most original essayists. Spiritual insight comes in both expected and unexpected places: Thomas Lynch writes of his work as an undertaker, Sallie Tisdale witnesses the miracle of an elephant's birth, and Patricia Monaghan finds consolation in Heisenberg's theory during a period of intense grief.
In his introduction, Jack Miles writes, "American spiritual writing at its best is, in sum, a pluriform, multifarious acknowledgment of discomfiture and an opening of exits into a wider world . . . The reader is led to this volume, I imagine, by the question: 'There must be something more. Where can I find it?' The contributors to this volume answer, in effect: 'You will find it when it finds you.'"

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

The Best American Spiritual Writing 2008 (The Best American Series)

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This annual (formerly Best Spiritual Writing) is always cause for rejoicing. Zaleski, coauthor with wife Carol Zaleski of the justly acclaimed Prayer: A History, has assembled a remarkable ... Read full review

The best American spiritual writing, 2005

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Zaleski (senior editor, Parabola ; research associate, religion, Smith Coll.) has edited another invaluable collection of spiritual writing. Like its 2004 predecessor, this book is a real gift to any ... Read full review


rick bass A Texas Childhood
dan bellm Parable
Robert cording Parable of the Moth

17 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information